Psychology is the scientific study of the behavior of humans and animals. Psychologists use scientific methods in an attempt to understand and predict behavior, to develop procedures for changing it, and to evaluate treatment strategies. Research might be conducted in the laboratory where the factors studied can be controlled, or it may take place in a real life setting where more natural behavior is studied.
There are many areas of psychology, each attempting to explain behavior from a slightly different perspective. Social psychology is concerned with the effects of social situations on human behavior. Personality theorists study individual behavior. Developmental psychologists study principles and processes responsible for change throughout life. Comparative psychologists study animal behavior across the range of species, while physiological psychologists are concerned with the biological basis of behavior. Learning is an area of psychology exploring how new behaviors are learned and maintained. Cognitive psychologists investigate memory, thought, problem solving, and the psychological aspects of learning.
Clinical psychologists study ways to help individuals and groups of individuals change their behavior. Industrial/organizational psychologists are concerned with the physical and social aspects of people’s work environments as they affect work output. Community psychologists use scientific methods to study and solve social problems.
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